Well, I was able to make it to this year’s Comic Con in Ottawa, Ontario.
A friend and I had planned on going on Saturday and he was even kind enough to wait in line with me, even though he had a Deluxe Pass, which allowed him to have a 1 hour earlier entry. I had only planned on just the one day. The problem was that I had prior commitments that required me to leave a lot earlier than I had expected. I ended up paying $50 for the first day and $35 for the next day. In total, $85 for the two days. The Deluxe pass was $75 for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, which also included early entry. Unfortunately, they don’t allow exchanges or refunds. Next time, I’ll have to just buy the Deluxe three day pass.
Anyways, on to Day 1 for me.
Arrival at the Ernst & Young Centre for 8:45AM, at a quick breakfast in the car and when we went to line up for 9:00AM, the line was already halfway down the parking lot.
The line was moving at 10:00AM and we were inside at about 10:15AM, which wasn’t too bad.
Once in, we made a bee line right to the line up for Amanda Tapping, Grand Empress of SciFi as dubbed by her fans.
All the celebrities turn out to be a little more than 30 minutes late, putting a kink into the schedules and the plan for the day.
While in line, I was trying to decide what to have her sign for me. Eventually, I ended up having her sign my Season 1 DVD set of Sanctuary, right on the first DVD with her image on it. I also had her sign an 8×10 of her as a brunette. I think that she’s hotter as a brunette. This cost me a total of $80. Amanda Tapping was a friendly and pleasant person to talk to as I got my autographs. Didn’t have much of a conversation as technically, we are not paying to have a conversation, we are paying to get their autographs.
Next for me and my friend was Christopher Judge. He was a much friendlier person that I had expected. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t expecting him to be mean, but he was very friendly as he was listening to what we had to say. Or to be exact, what I had to say. We have a good laugh about a certain other fan of his and at how both of us had to get used to him having hair in Stargate SG-1. He had this very infectious laugh. His autograph cost me another $40.
The next celebrity that I was going to line up for was Summer Glau. However, her line had exponentially increased since we had gotten in line for Christopher Judge. We decided to walk the con for a bit and see what the dealers had to offer. I did find a Firefly board game, apparently they were the only 2 left in the con, I had planned on buying it from Thinkgeek, but they were sold out.
Sometime near noon, I made my way to the Ecto-1 replica, where I agreed to meet another member of Bytown Paranormal so that we can both get a photo with it.
We tried to make it back to Summer Glau’s line so that I can try to get her autograph. However, some cosplayed that was dressed as a character from Diablo was blocking the way. His wing span had to be about 7 feet wide, and he was blocking most of the hallway. People that were trying to get by him couldn’t or they were bumping into his wings. At other cons, this person would have needed permission in order to come in and there would only be certain areas. We arrived in the line later than I would like. To tell you the truth, I was willing to buy a sword from one of the vendors, just to lop off his wings.
It came up onto to 2:30PM and I had to leave the Con for 3:30PM. Plus I still needed to get lunch. Actually, it was a good thing that we left when we did. There was a traffic jam on Hunt Club Rd., which made me late about 30 minutes.
I purchased another day, because I wasn’t going to let Summer Glau’s autograph get away from me a second time. The year before, I had a wedding to go to in Toronto, which I had to cancel all my Comic Con plans. It was okay, as Summer Glau had to cancel as she misplaced her passport. I was disappointed that I didn’t get to meet Jewel Staite though.
My friend, Simon, told me that there was no way in hell he was going to the con that early again and that I was on my own this time and that he would meet me there. So I got to the convention centre about 9:00am and yup, the line was halfway down the parking lot again. However, the line up tent this time was empty and we were able to file in pretty quick.
Once in, I lined up in Summer Glau’s line. It was long again. But I wasn’t going to be moving from this spot, unless it was forward. It was about an hour and a half before the line was moving at a decent pace. Once there, I made the last moment decision to purchase an autograph 8×10 for $40 and a candid photo with her for another $40. When I got to Summer, I was a complete blathering idiot. I explained to her that I had to leave early the day before, because I had a previous engagement that was happening earlier than I expected. I was to be in Gananoque for an Paranormal Investigation. This comment seemed to make her give me a weird look for a moment. Then I moved behind to have her take the candid photo with me. The guy that she was with (her manager I guess) was willing to take the photo with my Nikon D300. I asked him he knew how to used a fully manual camera, he said “This isn’t my first ride…” So I assumed that he knew how to use a more advanced camera. Of course, the picture turned out a bit fuzzy and overexposed. I had to do some Photoshop later to try to save the photo. I should have given him my iPhone to use. When I came back to the front of the table to get my autographed 8×10, I made a bad joke and said “But my name is Steve…” as it was personalized autograph, it my name on it. When I said I was joking, she gave me another weird look. Also that I said I wasn’t really disappointed that she couldn’t make it last year, because I had a wedding to go to, which in turn she gave me another weird look. Again, I was a blathering idiot.
I looked over at Karl Urban’s line and the price for this autograph and thought to myself “Not worth it at this time” and left it at that.
Edward James Olmos, was especially nice to a friend of mine, who didn’t charge her for his autograph, because she is a teacher, and thanked her for doing what she did.
Sean Astin, truthfully, I really didn’t care to get his autograph. Christopher Lloyd was just way too much money for me. Robert Englund, if I had enough money, I probably would have. Eliza Dushku cancelled almost at the last moment, so they brought it Charisma Carpenter. Had I known, I would have brought my copy of Legend of the Seeker for her to sign. However, she was only there for just Saturday.
I spent most of the rest of the day walking around and taking pictures of the cosplayers. I’ll provide a link below so that you can see all the great costumes.
I eventually went to talk to Pat Mastroianni, aka Joey Jeremiah from Degrassi Jr. High. I was a fan of his when we were both kids. However, now funds are starting to get low and I didn’t get his autograph.
I walked to to Destiny Nickelsen and Nicole Marie Jean, had a small conversation with them and looked over their 8×10’s. I saw a couple that I wanted, but decided that I would return later as the prints I wanted where larger and didn’t want to carry them around.
I moved on to some other vendors and spoke to someone with the Ottawa Browncoats, who show a screening of Serenity at the Mayfair theatre, proceeds go to iSisters and Equality now. I wouldn’t make going to one of these.
I then saw the Heroes of the North booth. I have seen them every Con that I have gone to. They are basically creating a TV show that can be seen on the web or on DVD format about Canadian Superheroes and Villians. The cast includes Marie-Claude Bourbonnais, a voluptuous Cosplayer and Glamour Model, who plays Hornet a villain. Sandra Belrose, a very attractive cosplayed and glamour model, who plays Wild Rose a hero. I didn’t catch the other two actors names to mention them here, but they play 8-Ball, who also choreographs their fight scenes and Acadia, who looks really good in leather. <grin>
I purchased some prints and autographs from Marie-Claude, and then found out that she had a Dakimakura (Japanese body pillow) of an anime version of her nude body on it. I wanted this (Yeah, I’m a perv, deal with it), but definitely didn’t have the funds for it. $60. But looking at her website with shipping and tax, it’ll almost cost me $100.
I eventually made it back to Destiny Nickelsen and Nicole Marie Jean’s booth and choose a couple of larger prints. I walked over to Calsarra and Elffi’s booth, Elffi was doing a lecture on armour at the time, but Calsarra saw I was holding on to two prints from Destiny and Nicole Marie and offered a page protector for me to keep them in. That was really nice of her. We got to talking and found out that this is their first trip to North America. As a hotelier, I’m more than pleased to offer them advice on sites around Ottawa for them to go to, especially since they are taking a little vacation after the con. Calssara was so nice to talk to and great with her fans that show up while we were talking. I found out that she has an affinity for sweets, I wish I had some of our Maple Candy to give to her. I’ll have to find out how to ship something to her later. I choose a very eye catching print of hers to take home. Needless to say, I have another professional cosplayer to follow on Twitter. Elffi returned and asked how his stay was and if there was anything he was interested in seeing. Apparently he would like to see animals. I tweeted him later and provided him with Omega Park, where he can see some Canadian animals. I hope he has time to go see them. Now, I thought I was an Anime pro, but apparently I am not. Calssara was educating me on other different animes characters that she has portrayed and after some research, I found that she portrays these characters very beautifully. She is as kind as she is beautiful.
Afterwards, I walked around some more and decided to take in a panel for once. The last one for the day was Ray Park, who portray Darth Maul from Episode 1 of Star Wars, Toad from X-Men and Snake Eyes from GI Joe. I have only admired him as a martial artist, but he spoke with the crowd and impressed everyone. Especially when he taught some guests on how to use a lightsaber.
I want give the Volunteers (Minions) a shout out this year. It seemed that they had their act more together than the paid staff.
Well, that’s the end of it. Wish I had more time and money to spend at the con.
Pictures at my Facebook Album link.